Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


Beating Winter Blues

PY Feature_Dec2018About a year ago, my article “12 Liveaboard Tips to Beat the Winter Woes” came out in Pacific Yachting magazine, and now it’s up on their website here, just in time for winter again. Hope you enjoy it, especially while staying snug and warm ashore somewhere! ūüėČ


Avian winter visitors

The last few (belated) posts have been about work on Celeste over the 2016/17 winter. It was a bit of a tough winter for living aboard¬†– the harbor froze over,¬†it was unusually cold and¬†snowy for the Pacific NW, and¬†the short days were a bit depressing at times – but we made some great friends and, being amateur bird nerds, we really enjoyed all the wintering avian visitors – harlequin ducks, long-tailed ducks (“oldsquaws”) in their winter plumage, American widgeons, buffleheads, common goldeneyes, and hooded mergansers. Here are a few pictures we took on one glorious sunny day in January:

American Widgeons:

Widgeons and Rainer

American widgeons with Mt Rainer in the distance

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Stories in Print!

Hi everyone,

Sorry it’s been so long since our last blog post! It’s been a busy few months¬†since we tied up to the dock in Port Angeles, Washington back in August, but we hope to post more soon – we have some pretty pictures of backpacking in the Alps to share as well as some boring shots¬†of boat repairs…. ¬†In the meantime, here’s a little news of our recent published pieces for those of you who are interested. ūüôā Continue reading


Inside Channels to Open Ocean: Ketchikan, Alaska to Juan de Fuca Strait, Washington, August 2016


Brown bear fishing for salmon, Southeast Alaska

Our last post¬†ended in Southeast Alaska, where we’d encountered a whole range of sailing conditions, revisited places we’d enjoyed in 2014, and discovered new places including a river where both black and brown bears fished for salmon.

Upon leaving the touristic town of Ketchikan, we once again entered deserted channels between forested islands. Our last stop in Alaska was a little cove just a mile or two north of the Canadian border, and then we set off to Prince Rupert to clear Customs into Canada.

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New pages on Gone Floatabout

Hi everyone,

Bear and sprayWe’ve been doing a little renovation to Gone Floatabout and added some new pages. Finally the Arctic Voyage tab now has a full account of the voyage, from our first shakedown cruise in British Columbia in 2013 to our rounding of Point Barrow and return to the Aleutians this past summer. If you’re really ambitious and or really bored, all the posts are in order now on the 2014: Alaska page and the 2015: Arctic page ūüôā

Much more exciting is that we finally did something about the Photography page! It’s now under the new Media tab and has three extensive galleries: Wildlife, Nature, and Adventure & People. We had a lot of fun putting that together, so hope you enjoy it!

Finally, sorry for the last post that got sent out – it was a snafu that happened when we were editing our home page.

Hope everyone enjoys floating about the revamped site ūüôā


Ellen & Seth



Articles and photos update

HeritageIn a change of pace from blogs about Alaska, we have some recent articles and a photo gallery to share!¬† The April issue of Classic Boat magazine (just out!) has an article about cruising the Maine coast aboard a beautiful Herreshoff ketch we briefly owned called Nahma.¬† Sailing in Maine will have any classic boat lover salivating: on almost every tack you’ll see yet another historic wooden beauty.¬† To accompany the article Classic Boat has just uploaded a large photo gallery!¬† Check it out here!

Schooners under Nahma's lee Continue reading


Rolling with the punches (and the waves)

Zeal BlogFirst, a huge thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for their continued enthusiasm for our adventures this summer!  They were all super supportive of our decision not to rush things, and over-stress ourselves and the boat in the process, by heading for the Arctic after our delays and setbacks in June.  It turned out that our voyage through Alaskan waters was every bit the type of challenging and rewarding adventure we love, and we would have greatly regretted it had we missed the whales, bears, glaciers, waterfalls, exciting (sometimes too exciting!) sailing, and general wilderness that make the 49th state so unique!

We particularly wanted to share with everyone Ellen’s blog for ZEAL Optics that recounts, as ZEAL says,¬†how¬†“Murphy’s Law came into play” but also¬†how another incredible journey¬†was right there to be found!¬† The blog has some great pictures that we haven’t put on Gone Floatabout.¬† Hope you enjoy! http://blog.zealoptics.com/post/95097121642/rolling-with-the-punches-and-the-waves

(We’ll be back with more about Prince William Sound next post!)


Maps and Dates

In response to a couple of requests for maps of our route, I’ve put together the one below that shows the locations of the previous few posts.¬† We also wanted to clarify a couple things about Gone Floatabout.¬† The blog posts tend to lag our actual journey by about a month.¬† This is mostly because we have such sporadic and unreliable access to internet, so we put together posts recounting our previous experiences when we do get a chance to go online.¬† We also like to take some time to think about our writing and to process our hundreds (maybe thousands!) of photos.¬† So although we posted “Shakedown Passage” on July 31, our departure was in fact on JUNE 27.¬† The posts over the next month will recount our adventures in Southeast Alaska throughout July. Continue reading

Shakedown Passage, North Pacific style

Leaving Neah Bay

Leaving Neah Bay

Every mariner knows not to sail on a Friday, but in the long run it’s turned out for the best that we did. On the morning of Friday, June 27, our projects were finally complete, our fridge was stocked, and the water tanks were full. We didn’t relish sitting around waiting for Saturday to dawn considering how far behind schedule we already were after all the work on Celeste. That was likely the first (and last) time we’ve ignored our superstitions. . . .

(NB: This stuff about superstition was meant to be tongue-in-cheek! Everything that happened would almost certainly have happened had we left the following day. Blaming it (in a tongue-in-cheek way!) on leaving on a Friday was intended to inject humor¬†– apologies if it didn’t work, as some readers¬†took it at face value – sorry!) Continue reading


Departure! June 24, 2014

Seth bends on the jib just after leaving Port Angeles

Seth bends on the jib just after leaving Port Angeles

After trouble-shooting the autopilot and heater, doing some last minute provisioning, and filling up with fuel and water, Seth and I and Celeste headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca on June 24 for our big adventure!

It was a dead calm day, fortunately and unusually, as the wind had been blowing about 20-30 knots from the west (the direction we were headed) almost every day since our arrival in Port Angeles. It was a great opportunity to test out our Yanmar and our new autopilot, watch the Olympic mountains pass by on one side and Vancouver Island on the other, and try to identify the many birds we were seeing around us.

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